WASHINGTON (MNS) — Concerned about plummeting commerce along the border, Rep. Bob Filner asked California's governor Wednesday to declare an economic state of emergency in the region.
"Clearly the border communities are suffering," said Filner, D-San Diego. "San Ysidro, Otay Mesa, Tecate and Calexico need immediate help."
Filner sent a letter to Gov. Gray Davis after taking trips to San Ysidro and Calexico last weekend. He said people have reported dramatic drops in business as a result of the longer waits at border crossings due to increased security following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"Everybody was saying, ‘What do we do, what do we do?,' " Filner said.
Hildy Carrillo-Rivera, executive director of the Calexico Chamber of Commerce, said the situation is the toughest she has seen.
"Businesses have lost anywhere from as little as 5 percent to as much as 50 percent," she said. "We should have already started with our holiday blitz. It's not happening."